“I sold my condo in Surrey and moved into a rental townhouse in Burnaby. My sister explained to me that I didn’t understand the importance of leaving real estate for my children.”

MBA at VREAA 5 July 2011 7:30am
“I sold my condo in Surrey and moved into a rental townhouse in Burnaby. My sister to me explained that I didn’t understand the importance of leaving real estate for my children. I didn’t find that argument compelling. I was planning to have kids while she already had kids and a house in the Fraser Valley. I was moving specifically because I wanted to be a better parent. If housing prices continued to rise, I was never going to be able to move “up” out of a condo anyway, a decidedly unfriendly place to raise children. But more importantly, I was spending 2 hours a day in traffic commuting over the bridge AND my wife needed to work full time to feed the mortgage and strata fees. I decided that my children would be better served having me home for those two hours a day than they would be from this etherial real estate winfall when I die in 60 years. That’s without addressing the inconvenient logic that I pay less in rent now than the interest portion of my mortgage + strata fees + property taxes + levy to fix the roof I was paying in the other place. I am now able to put 10% of my paycheque plus all of my wife’s part time pay directly into savings. I think my kids will be ok because they will have a father they get to see and a mother that can afford to stay home with them full time. I still don’t have kids, but I’m pretty sure when they are adults they will approve of the choices I’ve made on their behalf.”

11 responses to ““I sold my condo in Surrey and moved into a rental townhouse in Burnaby. My sister explained to me that I didn’t understand the importance of leaving real estate for my children.”

  1. CanuckDownUnder

    Just imagine the shame and ridicule the kids will suffer at school when their classmates find out that their parents rent.

    Won’t somebody please think of the children?

    • imagine the shame these children will have when theirs are the only solvent parents amongst their classmates!

      serious loss of face

    • Yes think of the children! Do you really want your kids to be never invited to b-day parties? Shunned by other kids for being a hobo kid? No one wants you on their team in PE class or school projects? No date for the prom? etc? School, especially high school, can be cruel enough already. The lack of a home is simply adding to that, there is only so much a kid can take! This is almost child abuse!

      Not to mention after schoo, how do you think the kids will be able to afford university, or get ahead at work when their collegues and boss find out how irresponsible they are being renters! How would they get anyone to even consider marrying them! Can this guy not see the damage he’s doing ruining his kids life before they are even born?

      His kid needs a home they own much more than needing to see him for an extra hour a day!

      /sacarsm off

  2. pricedoutfornow

    People don’t seem to realize that profits from real estate don’t necessarily go to the children. Sometimes people become ill in their elderly years and need to pay for private health care (dementia’s on the rise, for example). Where will this money come from? Why, the house of course. Or maybe Grandma wants to spend her golden years travelling the world and will cash out of the house. You never know. You can’t count on having anything left over from your parents, it might end up getting spent long before they pass away.

  3. The idea of leaving real estate to children will probably not work out as expected because of the increasing lifespan. I don’t think it will be unusual for people to loose their parents when their are in their late 40s and 50s so I guess if you are kid now you should just wait till your 50 before you can get your parents house by which time the house will be too old to be useful to you.

  4. nobody you know

    We’ve got a kid on the way and are in the same rent vs. buy situation right now.

    If we continue to rent:
    – Cost of housing is less than $1000 per month
    – Commute to work is 5 minutes or less
    – Wife can quit job, stay home with baby in early years
    – RRSP and RESP savings continue uninterrupted
    – Mortgage savings grow, emergency fund intact
    – Disposable income allows for travel to visit family, enjoy life

    If we choose to buy:
    – Cost of housing rises to $2000
    – Commute to work increases to 20-45 minutes + $100 or more in gas
    – Wife forced to work, child placed in daycare system
    – RRSP and RESP stalled indefinitely
    – Savings gone, emergency fund won’t be replenished if used
    – Disposable income wiped out, new baby separated from grandparents

    Five years from now we’ll have a nice little pile of cash, our kid will have spent their early childhood being raised by their mother, and we’ll be able to travel and have a bit of fun. My wife will go back to work, the kid will be in school and we’ll be able to buy what we need.

    But if we are pressured into buying right away we’ll drastically increase our cost of living at the same time that our income is going down. Our finances would be brutally tight. If my wife worked she’d give so much of her net income to a daycare that she’d be working for minimum wage and all so we could have a place in an inconvenient suburb that required me to spend 5-8 additional hours per week in a car. We’d be stressed and unhappy, as we’d be reducing our quality of life just to fit in and join the excitable real estate chatter at family gatherings and work parties.

    And the best part about renting now is that we’ll actually be able to buy a much nicer place in a few years even if prices don’t go down. So instead of being stuck in a condo we’ll have a real house. Yes, this requires patience and discipline, but we’ve got plenty of both. We’ll just have to put up with mortgaged bank tenants looking down on us for a while.

    • Exactly right. I’ve got two and I’ll tell you, it doesn’t get any easier than you expect. Time is by far the most critical need. Financial security is a close second, because everything suffers when money is an issue. It’s better to make conservative choices when your kids are young. Live below your means (they won’t know the difference) and take whatever time you can get. Good luck!

      • nobody you know

        Thanks. We’re getting big time pressure from the parents to buy right now. They seem to be under the influence of traditional thinking that says good little Canadians are supposed to get married, buy a house and have kids — in that EXACT order. Any deviation from this is considered to be foolish and evidence of financial failure on our part.

        For the record, both my wife and I were raised in rentals until our teens. We didn’t know or care who owned the homes we grew up in. Our parents weren’t failures by any means and in fact were able to save money and enroll us in better school districts by renting instead of owning.

        And we’re debt free with cash in the bank! We’re the only kids in the family who rent and the only ones who haven’t needed financial assistance from the family in the past few years. Funny how that works.

        It’s amazing that living within our means and saving for retirement is looked down upon by those who do neither.

  5. Can anyone imagine a condo here surviving long enough to be “passed down” ? Do your children need the burden of special assessments?! The whole thing strikes me as comically absurd.

  6. this makes sense. rent & move closer to city . cut down on commute time for family.

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